Top 5 Selects
For marketers, vloggers, home video enthusiasts, and wannabe film producers, there’s video editing software to suit your needs.
Today’s video editing software is extremely powerful. You can produce videos that are professional enough for Hollywood on your home computer if you use the right software. Basic video editing tasks like trimming and splitting video footage, adding text and art overlays, and including animated clips are already standard on almost every video editing program. The best video editing software today competes on features like 3D editing, performance speed, and the number of special effects available.
It’s important to know which features to look for when comparing between the many different video editing software options on the market. We’ve put together this guide to what to look for in the best video editing software, for anyone who isn’t sure what program will best meet their needs.
Ease of Use
One of the most critical considerations when choosing video editing software is considering the ease of use versus the capabilities of the program. Some video editing tools are simpler and much easier to use. On the one hand, this makes them less powerful, but it also means that novices are better able to create simple movies without hassle. Corel VideoStudio focuses on making it easy for new users to edit their movies, and Adobe Premiere Elements is similar in promoting ease of use over advanced features.
If you want powerful features but you don’t yet have much experience with video editing, it’s a good idea to look for a program like HitFilm or CyberLink PowerDirector that comes with a significant library of how-to guides and instructional videos. Or, you might be able to work it out for yourself if you pick software with an intuitive interface like Apple iMovie.
Users who are already experienced at video editing can probably cope with the more unusual interfaces of advanced programs like VSDC Free Video Editor and Shotcut, which both have an extremely wide range of capabilities along with a difficult and tricky interface. If you are determined to use a professional-level program but don’t have much prior knowledge of video editing software, a program such as Adobe Premiere Pro, with an intuitive and easy-to-use UI experience and good tutorials alongside extensive features, will probably do the job.
Nowadays, video editing software covers a huge range of price points, from free to premium price. Not every ‘free’ video editing program is truly free – many claim to be free but keep the majority of their features for paid users, or include a watermark on your footage. However, Apple iMovie, Shotcut, and Blender are among the fully free programs that you can use. Blender is open source, so you can rely on it remaining free.
Other programs have both free and for-pay versions, such as HitFilm which offers a basic free program as well as a premium option for $349 for use on up to 3 computers, or you can pay as you go by buying add-on individual tools along with the basic free version. It’s important to be aware of mostly-free software like the VSDC Free Video Editor, which provides full-featured software free of charge, but you’ll have to pay to access technical support.
If you choose to pay for video editing software, you also have a choice between buying software for a one-off license fee, like Corel VideoStudio or Adobe Premiere Elements, which each cost $99.99, or an ongoing monthly subscription setup like Adobe Premiere Pro.
Obviously, you want to make sure to pick video editing software that is compatible with your operating system. Some options, like Adobe Premiere Elements, are truly cross-platform. If you run Linux, your options are probably more limited, but Avidemux, Blender, and Shotcut are all still open to you as well as to Windows and Mac users. It’s worth noting that Apple iMovie only works on a Mac, and VSDC Free Video Editor is solely for use on Windows devices.
Speed of Performance
The more features offered by your video editing software, the more likely it is to be slow and sluggish to run unless you’re using a very powerful computer. It might not matter to you if you have to wait for a while for videos to load or to render – in fact, it’s more or less expected by now. Still, some programs, such as HitFilm, need a more powerful device if you want to use them without frustration, while others, such as CyberLink PowerDirector and Corel VideoStudio, are faster to run.
Supported Video File Formats
Another point to look out for is which file formats are supported by a given video editing software. This applies both to which formats you can use when you upload a video to the program and output formats. After all, it’s important to make sure that your editing software can open the format used by your digital camera. If you want to get feedback on a video or use it in presentations or marketing campaigns, you’ll also need software that can export your finished video content in the necessary format.
Fortunately, the vast majority of software can import and export many different file formats. A lot of programs even support 4K XAVC-S format, including Adobe Premiere Elements, Corel VideoStudio, CyberLink PowerDirector, and more. Export formats offered by Avidemux include AVI, DVD, MPEG, MP4, and QuickTime, to name just a few.
One of the most important things you’ll be looking for in video editing software is the range of features included in the program. It’s the most fun part of it as well. Some video editing software options like Blender or Adobe Premier Pro include hundreds of features – far too many for us to list. However, here are some of the significantly more popular features to look for when you compare video editing software.
Every video editing software has some special effects, but these range from just a few filters to dozens of advanced effects, such as smoke, selective special effects, motion tracking, transparency, and more.
Chroma-keying, also known as green-screen, lets you create exotic backdrops and set your characters in a whole range of unexpected locations without hassle. You can just choose the chroma-key options and select your preferred backdrop.
Color adjustment and correction tools enable you to fix brightness, color and saturation levels, sometimes on an extremely sophisticated level. Adobe Premiere Pro offers the Lumetri Color tool, which brings Photoshop-level color correction to your videos.
Multi-cam is becoming increasingly common among video editing software. It allows you to work from and combine a number of different camera angles at the same time, although different programs will permit a different number of camera feeds.
3D editing is another popular option, along with 360-degree video editing for the new and popular video formats.
Create Professional Videos with Video Editing Software
Whether you’re a Vlogger or a marketing professional, an eager home video maker or just want to have fun playing around with video effects, you can find video editing software that suits your level of experience, budget, and device.
Adobe Premiere Elements is a video editing software application published by Adobe Systems. It is a scaled-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro and is tailored to novice editors and consumers.
The entry screen offers clip organization, editing and auto-movie generation options.
Premiere Pro project files are not compatible with Premiere Elements projects files
iMovie is a video editing software application developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS devices. It was originally released in 1999 as a Mac OS 8 application bundled with the first FireWire-enabled consumer Mac model – the iMac DV. Since version 3, iMovie has been a macOS-only application included with the iLife suite of Mac applications.
iMovie was included for free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device in late 2013 and has been free to all users since early 2017.
Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing application for FreeBSD, Linux, macOS and Windows. Shotcut supports video, audio, and image formats via FFmpeg.
It uses a timeline for non-linear video editing of multiple tracks that may be composed of various file formats.
Avidemux is a free and open-source software for non-linear video editing and transcoding multimedia files.
The developers intend it as “a simple tool for simple video processing tasks” and to allow users “to do elementary things in a very straightforward way”. It is written in C++ and uses Qt for its graphical user interface, and FFmpeg for its multimedia functions.
Avidemux is capable of non-linear video editing, applying visual effects (called “Filters” by Avidemux) to video, and transcoding video into various formats.Some of the filters were ported from MPlayer and Avisynth. Avidemux can also insert audio streams into a video file (an action known as multiplexing or “muxing”) or extract audio streams from video files (an action known as “demuxing”).
Use CorelDRAW’s powerful vector illustration tools to turn basic lines and shapes into complex works of art. Create curves with many versatile shaping and drawing tools. Add creative effects to your vector artwork with effect tools like Contour, Envelope, Blend, Mesh Fill, and more.
Find all the tools you need to create layouts for brochures, multi-page documents and more. Toggle between single page and multipage editing, giving you creative freedom to work the way you want.
Adjust color and tone, remove imperfections, correct perspective and more with Corel PHOTO-PAINT’s powerful layer-based photo editing tools. Improve the size and quality of your images with artificial intelligence, and use AfterShot 3 HDR to create stunning High Dynamic Range photos from your RAW images.